Friday, August 29, 2008

TS Gustav & TS Hanna: August 29 Update A

Well the little monsters are still Tropical Storms - but not for long,
especially Gustav.

TS Gustav: Currently at around 18.6N, 78.8W, he has left Jamaica and the
next stop on his grand tour of the Caribbean are the Cayman Islands,
before getting to Cuba. He is currently moving WNW at 8mph, and I agree
with the NHC track that takes him in a NW direction to cross western Cuba.
The gazillion dollar question is what happens after that. Well, that
depends now on his speed. There is a high pressure building up across the
US from the west (so it's expanding eastward) - north of the Gulf. If
Gustav moves slowly, then he'll get caught in that high and head west
towards Texas. If he moves quickly, there is currently a gap and I still
see the AL/NW FL coast as the area he may head towards. I can see the
dilemma in forecasting this track because the graphics do not allow for a
split-skittle possibility. So... everyone needs to be getting ready.

As for intensity, he currently has winds of 65 mph (988mb), so he's a
strong TS. The satellite image has improved a lot over the last few hours
- there is no wind shear to speak of. He is going over the warmest part of
the Caribbean (over 30 deg C temps), and the deepest/warmest part with 26
deg C temps extending down to 120m depth! These are very conducive
conditions for intensification. He will be a hurricane cat 1 soon, also as
forecast. I am not sure if he'll get cat 3 by the time he reaches Cuba -
cat 2 at the most I think because he will be interacting with the

TS Hanna:
If you are looking at the computer model tracks, you must be thinking that
a 3 year old could have done that! Those 5 day tracks are all over the
place! The complication there is the influence Gustav is having on their
long term forecasts, but also the high pressure systems - both the one
that was over Florida and is now barely there, and the one being forecast
to spread eastward across the US. She is currently at about 21.3N, 62.7W
and heading WNW at 12 mph. I still think she'll take a NW turn... and I'm
not 100% convinced she'll do this southward turn thing that they suggest
at day 4 or so, but we will see. My pressure fields are at a coarser
resolution for that.

Intensity wise - she's a weak TS with winds of 50mph. She'll stay a TS for
at least another day. Central pressure 1000mb.

Everyone still needs to keep an eye on both these systems - all Gulf
states (including Florida). I had a conversation with someone who told me
that the focus was in the LA/MS area as far as the media was concerned. I
think that's partly because this is the third anniversary week of Katrina
and they were in that area anyway... that's my guess.

I'm on this other planet where apparently only Apples can work. Bill Gates
needs to step up his marketing here! Luckily my friends are all Apple
users (yes, you can imagine the fun they are having at my expense). Grr.

The blobs and blobettes will have to wait as I'm out of time.

I'll be back tomorrow...


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These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not
the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an
evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the
National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather
Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away,
run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

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